Author Archives: Guest Author

Acknowledge Lesbian Existence

Hey everyone,

Here is a link to a petition I’ve started re Lesbian erasure.

http://chng.it/T77YDp7GsW

I decided to write and circulate it not so much because I’m optimistic about changing oppressors’ behaviors, but because I’m optimistic about us. I think that we are amazing, I think we are worth celebrating, and this is an opportunity to remind ourselves of that, for us to give each other the dyke nod.

Also the information in the petition is a nice short concrete example of what we are experiencing to pass on to allies and potential allies, while providing them with an opportunity to be supportive.

I am not on social media so PLEASE PLEASE use your skills to post/ pass on this petition in any way that you are willing. Thank you.

Center on Halsted, Chicago Illinois

Center on Halsted, Chicago Illinois

Here’s the content of the petition:

Acknowledge Lesbian Existence

We exist. Lesbians exist. We and our allies are calling upon the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ community center, the Center on Halsted in Chicago, to acknowledge and change its practice of Lesbian erasure.

The Center on Halsted reports a budget of $7,000,000 for FY2018 and 1,400 daily visitors. In honor of Women’s History Month, it is hosting events in March and beyond “to celebrate womanhood in the LGBTQ community”. And what is this womanhood? ‘Lesbian’ does not appear in any event title or description. Lesbian, and any of her sister words, are gone. Yet we exist. And we resist having our sex and sexuality erased. We call upon the Center on Halsted to acknowledge and change its practice of Lesbian erasure. We exist.

In sisterhood
Anne Leighton

This entry was posted in Lesbian Erasure and tagged on by .

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She kept a picture of her breasts in the drawer beside our bed (On loving someone with transgender surgery regret)

“You can terrorize a woman with her own body, and then she’ll torture herself”.
Carolyn Gage, The Second Coming of Joan of Arc

She always kept a picture of her breasts in the drawer beside our bed. She had removed them over a year before we met. But she kept the picture there, and asked me over and over again if I wanted to see them. She asked me heavy with self-doubt and focused on my response, for any answer the lines of my face might give her, any disapproval of her shape I might express. To her constant querying I always responded, no. I love you like you are. I love you how you are. All of you. As you are here and now.

She showed only carefully designed cutouts of herself to everyone else in her life…I was shocked at how skilled she was at slicing and folding herself up…for her closest friends, her most loved family members. What made me different than them, I saw, was that I was the one with whom she’d share all of herself, the secret corners of herself, every unfolded edge.

She learned this art of folding herself up, cutting herself into pieces as a child. She was trimmed and formed into whatever made her parents look good, then she learned to bend herself into shapes that would gain their approval, because narcissistic parents love you (or hate you) for how you make them look.

Hathor and NeferitiAre you sure you don’t want to see them, she would ask. Wouldn’t you love me more if I still had them? No, I said. I love you like you are and how you are. I want you to also love yourself as much.

She also learned shapeshifting to cope with the abuse. Screams in her face at drunken midnights- what, are you going to cry about it, you little pussy? So she learned not to cry. She was so, so small. What child endures beatings and incest and emotional torment without questioning their worth? …maybe if you change shape again your mother will finally love you…?

My love for her was never something she felt sure and worthy to accept, without checking in, to see if I approved of her shape. Don’t you want to see a picture of the breasts I used to have, she would ask? You are not an object for other people to approve of, I would respond. You are the person I love, you in relationship with me.

The lifelong experience of twisting herself around and cutting herself up meant she knew the medical industry like a safe and familiar aunt. The safe place to run to when things at home were unbearably bad. Doctors and hospitals gave her care and love, nurtured her with drugs and surgery. She had to rest up, though, and gather strength before returning home. Home placed a harsher diagnostic criteria on her person. Home demanded conformity of herself into shapes foreign to what she would imagine on her own. Drugs and surgery, she learned, could maybe sometimes provide relief with this struggle. When she told me she was taking testosterone, I said, I’m worried about your health…have you asked your doctor if that is safe? She was flabbergasted- that’s your only concern?! she asked, in disbelief……..I can’t believe all you care about is my wellbeing……..she hung for a pregnant pause, thinking maybe, just maybe, she could deliver a new and happier self with someone that loved her like she is.

I’ll ask my doctor, she said. And she did.

I do want you to be happy with who you are, he said, but changing your sex is bad for your heart. Don’t change. He wasn’t speaking in metaphors. Soon she could no longer walk up the stairs- her heart couldn’t breathe through this new cut out of who she had thought she should become. And just a few months after that, she had a heart attack. The change she underwent had started to shut down her arteries. Testosterone, it turns out, is great for shifting your shape, but not so great for empowering your heart to give you life. Look it up, the heart surgeon said. It’s dangerous, and it will kill you. And we did. There’s a very big chance that changing your body with hormones will kill you.

She asked me again about the picture
She still kept
In the drawer beside our bed.

After surviving what we might consider the attempted suicide,
or maybe the long, drawn-out torture of her body,
I acquiesced.

Show me the breasts this one time, I said, so I can get back to loving you as you are now.

Slowly she reached for the breasts in the drawer.

They were beautiful, beautiful breasts. They seemed perfect.

They’re just breasts, I said, maybe a little smaller than mine. Now put that away, please.

And I loved her a little more.

Then, in the silence of our cut up embrace, my questions also unfolded. Did you really have the experience of not feeling right in your body, I asked. No, she said. That’s just something I said to the therapist to get the surgery. Did you not love your breasts, I asked. I did, she said. I loved making love with my breasts and my wife loved them too. Then why did you remove them, I asked. Because I hated how people looked at me, she said. I hated what people thought about me. I wished for my mother to be proud of me. I wished for her to believe that my daughter would feel proud of her parents.

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Who’s responsible for this violence? Of the body and of the heart? It must be a survival tactic, I think, to cut off the pieces that don’t fit into the mold that other people insist on. To shift your shape so that you are no longer the target of other peoples’ hate.

But also, there has to be a better way, to remove the weight of the hate of others, and to love and heal our broken selves.

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This entry was posted in Transgender Regret and tagged on by .

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Response to the Exclusion of Max Dashu from the Modern Witches Confluence

By Chelsea Byrd

Hello,
Thank you for making the effort to create this amazing event. I understand that you have been unexpectedly caught off guard by the political state currently transpiring in the LGBTQ and feminist communities. I am writing to you as a member of the witch/pagan community, a feminist, and a member of the LGBTQ community. I have been an active participant in each of these communities for about 25 years, since I was 15 years old. I came out as a witch slightly before I came out as bisexual, which was before I came out as a lesbian. I have always thought of myself as a feminist, but what I know, think, and feel about feminism is constantly changing and evolving.

Please consider that you have jumped to conclusions by blackballing Max Dashu. The argument against feminists is not as clear-cut as it may seem when you are only listening to one sensationalistic side of the story.

There are actually a lot of reasons why various people consider themselves to be radical feminists, or allies. And there is solid reasoning why this feels threatening to some trans activists. The primary issue of safety in this community is that the law requires a black and white categorization of the definition of male and female. Currently, at a legal level, sex has been completely conflated and replaced with gender. This is a win for trans activists who want trans women to get to go to women’s prisons, and play women sports, etc. However, the other side of the story is that this means that there are no longer any external indicators of who or what a woman is.

Currently, legally, anyone is a woman who says that they are. The result of this is that males are competing in women’s sports against females, and male rapists and murderers are occupying female prisons. From the standpoint of feminism this is a threat to women’s rights and safety. It is true that radical feminists want males to be excluded from women’s sports and women’s prisons. This is a complicated topic that still has years worth of work in progress needed.

Who Is a Woman brochure

XX Amazons’ Who Is a Woman Brochure is available for download.

The perspective of feminists is that it is unsafe for men to be the ones who say what a woman is. Currently, legally, if a man gets convicted of a crime and doesn’t want to go to men’s prison, he can just say that he is a woman and he will get to go to women’s prison. There are documented examples of men being kind of bad at sports, not having the skills to compete at a men’s level, so joining women’s teams, claiming to be trans women. There are many documented cases of males in women’s prisons, and trans women committing acts of violence against women.

In an attempt to keep trans women safe, the term TERF has been codified, in order to target and attack any woman perceived as a threat to the legal replacement of the category “sex” (male/female) with the category “gender” (self-identified man/woman.) The results of this have been real world physical violence, where lesbians and feminists have been punched, pushed down, and beaten up. Lesbians and feminists have also been fired from their jobs, not for doing anything wrong, but for having the opinion that sex is still a category of oppression in America. And lesbians and feminists have been denied venues for performances and academic presentations.


The most common exclusionary act that supposed terfs commit is being lesbian. Lesbianism is considered an exclusionary sexuality. It is frequently said that having a sexual preference is thinly veiled transphobia, and sexual preferences actually do not exist.


When you removed Max from your conference, you cited that you had not done your research or realized that she is a “terf”. TERF is an acronym for “trans exclusionary radical feminist.” The most common exclusionary act that supposed terfs commit is being lesbian. Lesbianism is considered an exclusionary sexuality. It is frequently said that having a sexual preference is thinly veiled transphobia, and sexual preferences actually do not exist.

lesbian symbol

It is unfounded slander to consider somebody to be violent or hateful without any evidence to support that allegation. Lesbians and radical feminists are not performing acts of violence against trans women. Max has never done anything to harm or exclude any trans person from anything. Trans activists are commonly saying that it is the equivalent of actual violence to have the “exclusionary” sexual preference of lesbianism, or to hold the political ideology of radical feminism. Without intending to or realizing it, you have upheld this targeted attack against lesbian radical feminists. This is not ok. You’re being used as a tool to yield darkness and damage, against an extremely marginalized, extremely small community.


In very short order people are going to realize that terf is a misogynistic slur, it is the equivalent of the new McCarthyism.


I understand that you run an incredible risk if you choose to stand on Max’s side, because there are more and louder trans activists speaking up at this point in history. However, in very short order people are going to realize that terf is a misogynistic slur, it is the equivalent of the new McCarthyism. Any woman can be called a terf at any time for any reason, and if a woman is outed as a radical feminist she can lose her job, housing, and live with constant threats of actual physical violence.

Please do your research, and tread carefully as you move forward. I know you are a small organization, but please do not set the precedent of harming women by denying them a livelihood for being feminist lesbians. Please take this opportunity to support women’s basic human rights, rather than pandering to bullies who are threatening, committing, ignoring, denying, and excusing violence against women.

Thank you very much for your time,
Chelsea

By Chelsea Byrd

This entry was posted in Current Assaults on Women and tagged on by .

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Attempt to Shut Down Feminist Current

By Meghan Murphy

Hey everyone. A few weeks ago, I received the following email from the company that facilitates the ads featured on Feminist Current, SheKnowsMedia:

“Dear Ms. Murphy:

After careful review, pursuant to the SheKnows Publishing Network Agreement, attached for your reference, we are terminating your account effective immediately due to Feminist Current’s failure to comply with the Agreement’s quality guidelines regarding content that attacks a group on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Specifically, this articles https://www.feministcurrent.com/…/must-trans-activists-sme…/ and https://www.feministcurrent.com/…/trans-activism-become-ce…/ as well as others of similar tone are in violation.

Please remove all ad code from your site as soon as possible…

CHRISTY ROSENSTEEL
GENERAL COUNSEL
SheKnows Media”

We chose to have ads hosted by SheKnowsMedia (previously BlogHer) because these companies claim to aim to support and empower women AND because I was able to limit ad categories that showed up on Feminist Current, meaning that I was able to exclude ads for things like dieting, makeup, the oil industry, the meat industry, religious ads, “dating” ads, and a myriad of other categories of ads I didn’t want showing up on a feminist site. This, of course, limited the income we were able to access via ad revenue, but still allowed us a base revenue that could ensure we were guaranteed a certain level of sustainability, from month to month. We have had ads hosted on the site via BlogHer/SheKnows since 2012.

Femiinist Current

Feminist Current is Canada’s leading feminist website.
They provide a unique perspective on male violence against women, pop culture, politics, current events, sexuality, gender, and many other issues that are often underrepresented or misrepresented by mainstream, progressive, and feminist media sources.

Recently, I have had several issues with the ads popping up on Feminist Current, some of which were unsuitable (anti-ageing ads and makeup ads, for example), others which were outright racist and sexist. When I contacted SheKnows about this, which I did numerous times, the problem was not addressed and the company claimed not to be able to do anything about these ads, despite the fact they were showing up via *their* ad network. As a result, I had been planning to get rid of ads on the site entirely, but needed to make sure we were able to sustain ourselves after that loss, so had tried to do some fundraising over the past month, in order to make up for the loss. (Thank you to everyone who donated!)

Before I was able to do this, I received the above email, which referenced two posts, one of which challenges violent, misogynist threats against women and lesbians, the other that challenges the unethical and dishonest tactics trans activists use to shut down critical questions about the transitioning of children and around transgender ideology that reinforces sexist ideas about males and females more broadly.

Neither post “attacks a group on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.” Rather, one post directly opposes attacks and violent threats against a group of people based on sex and sexual orientation (women and lesbians), and the other defends journalism/journalistic ethics and good faith debate, and opposes censorship and attacks against journalism that challenges popular discourse and the status quo. Both posts, of course, support a feminist analysis that says gender is not innate, neither men nor women are stereotypes, and that women are oppressed under patriarchy on account of being born female, not on account of their feelings, clothing, or behaviour.

It is incredibly important, particularly now, that journalists are able to report on issues and trends independently and with integrity, no matter how it may upset certain groups. It is also incredibly important that women be allowed to defend their sex-based rights without being beat up, smeared, and threatened. These are fundamental ideas that *should* be supported by those who support democracy and human rights, as well as by those who oppose hate speech and fascism.

I responded to Christy Rosensteel at SheKnows Media, saying I was confused by her email, as the two posts in reference did not attack any group of people, and asked if she could please specify which aspects of the posts constituted an attack on “a group on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.” I told her that our mandate at Feminist Current is to advocate the liberation of women from patriarchy and male violence, and that I felt both posts fit this aim. I added:

“I find your claim to be quite a serious accusation, especially considering Feminist Current’s longstanding and dedicated work to opposing male violence against women and supporting the global feminist movement. If SheKnows is opposed to feminist analysis, that would be good to know, as I’d assumed your organization did not support male violence against women or sexism, in general.”

I received no response.

The good news is, we will no longer have to deal with a company that allows sexist, racist ads to pop up on the site, which I have no control over, and who refuses to be accountable for said ads, and will no longer be beholden to anti-feminist companies who revoke revenue because we publish articles opposing misogyny, male violence against women, and the shutting down of feminist debate/discourse. The bad news is that, more and more frequently, women who speak out against gender identity ideology, ask questions about the short and long term effects of transitioning children, and try to host discussions and debates about the impacts of gender identity legislation on women and girls are being systemically persecuted, slandered, silenced, threatened, fired, and rendered unemployable.

It is unacceptable to try to shut down feminist media, simply because feminist ideas offend the sensibilities of some. And this is exactly what has happened. It is clear that someone who opposes the work we do at Feminist Current, who has connections or power at SheKnows, complained, and demanded they cut ties with the site. Our content has not changed substantially in the past few weeks. We have been opposing violence against women and asking critical questions about transgender ideology for years now. We are under constant attack, as a result. This was a direct attack against us by one individual who wished to attempt to shut down the site, by rendering us unable to pay our bills and support ourselves.

Luckily, we have an enormously supportive readership around the world, are independent, and are part of a powerful, global women’s liberation movement that has more integrity and courage in its pinky finger than these self-interested, cowardly, dishonest, greedy, misogynist neoliberals.

Fuck SheKnowsMedia. Fuck these capitalist pigs, who care more about their income than their integrity. Fuck this disgusting cooptation of feminism that bends over for men while throwing women under the bus. If they think this bullying will shut down Feminist Current and the hundreds of thousands of people who support our work and contribute to the site, they underestimate the power, courage, and steadfastness of women.

Lesbian's sign attacked

Lesbians attacked at 2018 San Francisco Dyke March.

In the past year we have seen attacks on our sisters amped up, as warrior women like Max Dashu, Nina Paley, Thistle Pettersen, Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Yuly Chan, and countless more are being smeared and no-platformed because they dare stand in solidarity with women. Women are being beaten up in the streets because they wish to *speak* about gender identity legislation and an ideology that says there is no such thing as a woman or a female body. Women are being threatened at the Dyke March and at Pride because they stand up for lesbians. Women are receiving death threats for supporting women-only spaces.

These women are not wealthy, they are not powerful, they are not “privileged.” They are regular women and lesbians fighting to survive and to have a voice and to protect our and YOUR hard-fought-for rights.

We stand in solidarity with women and in defense of free speech and democracy. We oppose the misogynist, capitalist bullying that dictates the editorial content of the vast majority of publications in North America, including those publications that claim to be “feminist.” At Feminist Current, we have always been accountable only to the feminist movement, and that will never change, no matter how many try to shut us down. Solidarity with our sisters in the struggle. Until we win.

By Meghan Murphy

Republished with permission from Meghan Murphy. See her original post. Visit her Facebook page. Don’t miss Feminist Current!

This entry was posted in Current Assaults on Women and tagged , on by .

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What IS Lesbian space?

By Woody Blue

In 1979, Womonwrites emerged as an lesbian only conference held in a public space in the South. It was structured as a writer’s conference. The founders of the conference recognized the need for lesbian space and were not apologetic in their approach to forming it and defining it as such.

Lesbian space is hard to find. It is different from women only space. Women only space grew from consciousness-raising groups in the 70’s. Women only groups gave women the breathing room needed to define themselves as women. They were able to see more clearly that because they had been born with a vagina, they had been assigned a subservient role in a patriarchal structure that put men at the top. Men decided what women would wear, how they would look, what jobs they could perform and what pay they would receive. From these women’s groups, a feminist analysis of patriarchy was pieced together and women, feeling empowered by this new understanding, dared to challenge patriarchal ideas and systems.


Lesbian space is hard to find. It is different from women only space.


Lesbian space grew out of the women’s groups. Straight women partnered with men and their discussions included that at the end of the day they would return to their male cohorts. Women who came out as lesbians faced a double threat. Not only did they not agree to conform to stereotyped sex roles; they also chose not to center their lives around men. Lesbians only wanted to focus on lesbians; empowering themselves and not spending their time, energy and skills providing for men. Their focus was clearly and decidedly on women.

And with that, by 1979, Womonwrites was born.

Womonwrites 1979Before I came to WW in 1986 I had been very involved with the Women’s Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice in the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY. To put it in a nutshell, it was a 52 acre farm bought by women and peace groups to create a women only community, putting feminist values into practice. It was situated adjacent to the largest US nuclear military base in the country which warehoused nuclear weapons and shipped them overseas to US bases in European countries that were NATO allies. The purpose of the camp was to train women in all aspects of nonviolent civil disobedience as well as learn and practice feminist principles in order to build a more peaceful world. There were sister encampments in England, Scotland, Germany, Sicily and a few other countries. It could be said that women world-wide were organizing to get rid of patriarchal structures by taking the fight to the U.S. military. The peace camp was our practice space.

I had only been out for 3 years before stumbling into WW in 1986 and I clasped my lesbian identity around me like a warm blanket that occasionally reverted to a suit of armor.
I found myself as a lesbian in public, structured lesbian space. It was like having a lesbian discussion group magnified 400 times. I didn’t have to explain myself; I didn’t have to explain my sexual preferences; I didn’t have to guess if someone at the conference was a lesbian or not. She was a lesbian; no need to ask. This was enormously freeing as I was used to walking in a predominantly straight world, where I’d been told 1 in 10 was gay.

Upon arrival at WW, I immersed myself totally. I was from the North yet I was welcomed because I was lesbian. I didn’t consider myself a writer, but I was welcomed because I was a lesbian. I hardly knew anyone but that was fine. There were plenty of lesbians that wanted to meet me and wanted to hear about the Peace Camp.

I remember my first reading. I refused to stand on the stage. Instead I insisted on being on the grass and shouting my poem about being a curious housecleaner that invented stories about the people she cleaned house for by searching for clues under the bed and in the wastebasket. I refused to read it; instead memorizing the 3 page poem and strutting up and down on the grass.

At WW, I was given the freedom to be who I was, to break the rules, to explain my life experiences. WW, as safe lesbian space, allowed me to grow into my lesbianism, and encouraged me to take writing seriously. This is something that I could not have accomplished in a straight women’s writing group, in a mixed male and female writing group, in a trans, queer, or bisexual writing group. I needed and still need a lesbian writing group. I don’t see that ever changing.


At WW, I was given the freedom to be who I was, to break the rules, to explain my life experiences. WW, as safe lesbian space, allowed me to grow into my lesbianism, and encouraged me to take writing seriously. This is something that I could not have accomplished in a straight women’s writing group, in a mixed male and female writing group, in a trans, queer, or bisexual writing group.


Over the years, WW has attempted to keep the conference lesbian and to keep it safe. In the last 10 years, there have been efforts from some lesbians attending, to open the conference to the queer, bi, and trans communities. This would invite a male presence into the conference and it was strongly opposed.

In the last several years, there have been women who have challenged the definition of lesbian space. Their argument is that males that have transitioned are now women. If they have women lovers, they are also lesbian and now they should be allowed to come into lesbian space. The counter argument is that transitioned males are NOT women. They have their own set of gender role disparities and they do not become women just because they say they are women. Males do not have the right to redefine what a woman is. This is not all there is to the arguments but it does state the crux of the matter.

The last 10 years this issue has not gone away from WW. There have been some women who have shared their thinking in the readings. There have been a few workshops to explain various points of view. Not everyone attends workshops. There is little time to have an open discussion with all members of the WW community during the conference. As a result, there has been no concrete open public dialogue. Rather, there have been closed private discussions, mostly among those wishing to change policy.

The DispossessedDespite our differences, WW has been a safe environment for lesbians. Throughout the years, I’ve always felt safe to speak my mind regardless of whether we were engaged in arguments over SM issues, health issues, or what to pay the cooks. I have always felt that my interests were taken into consideration when decisions are made.

Last February, after years of discussion about opening up the lesbian writer’s conference to queer and trans women, the planning committee voted to change who would be allowed to attend the conference. The planning committee was well aware that there were many lesbians who strongly disagreed with opening up the conference. There had been a stormy debate on the WW FB page. It was not a good place to hold this discussion. Though most of us tried to keep it polite and respectful, it was not always so. There were women who weren’t on FB who couldn’t participate in the discussion. There was an occasional person chiming in that had never been to WW. It was agreed to close that discussion and pick it up at the planner’s meeting.


Last February, after years of discussion about opening up the lesbian writer’s conference to queer and trans women, the planning committee voted to change who would be allowed to attend the conference. The planning committee was well aware that there were many lesbians who strongly disagreed with opening up the conference….It was never stated that a decision would be made at that planners’ meeting.


It was never stated that a decision would be made at that planners’ meeting. Not everyone can get to the meeting and I rely on having all lesbians’ opinions brought into the decision-making process and consensus being reached. In my memory, that is the way it always has been. The planning committee now says they have always voted on decisions; however, I and others say this is revisionist. Be that as it may, the decision was made.

Lesbians opposed to this decision argue that people born with penises can NOT become women through medical interventions, can NOT change the definition of women to suit their needs, can NOT be a women because they feel like one. Much has been written on this, yet most lesbians have not heard the arguments, and have not been able to have public discourse on these issues. Lesbians and others that raise these issues are quickly shouted down, and referred to as bigots and the new slur word of TERF, short for trans-exclusive radical feminist. Concern and protection of lesbian space is translated as trans hatred and transphobia.

Lesbians who agree with the decision claim that they are evolved; that they are open-minded; that transwomen have suffered from misogynistic society and need our support. The claim that anyone can be a woman because he says so, whether that person is on hormones or not, whether that person has a penis or not, whether that person has no lived experience as a woman is accepted by many lesbians as well as queer, transgendered, bisexual, and all the other gender variations that have popped up lately. These are people first in line to throw stones at women born women who raise a fuss.

It has come down to this. There are lesbians and feminists who strongly oppose the intrusion of men to redefine who a woman is and who occupies women’s space. Revising the definition of women to include men who insist they are women takes away the ability to have, create or maintain women only space. And, of course, that underscores the definition of lesbian and makes it impossible to create and maintain lesbian only space.

This year, the planning committee, voted to change the mission statement of WW. The statement now reads, “Founded as a lesbian conference and reflecting lesbian values, WW is a gathering of lesbian writers and others who may identify differently but know they belong at a lesbian writer’s conference.”

This past spring, the WW conference was open to those others who identify differently but know they belong at a lesbian writer’s conference. It was no longer lesbian safe space. A number of lesbians who disagreed with the decision refused to attend. The people that did participate, attended workshops and ate communal meals in a tense atmosphere. Those that supported the new participants deserted the public areas for the most part and spent their time in the loud and rowdy cabin. There was some intermingling, and there were some intensely hostile moments.


This past spring, the WW conference was open to those others who identify differently but know they belong at a lesbian writer’s conference. It was no longer lesbian safe space. A number of lesbians who disagreed with the decision refused to attend. The people that did participate, attended workshops and ate communal meals in a tense atmosphere. Those that supported the new participants deserted the public areas for the most part and spent their time in the loud and rowdy cabin. There was some intermingling, and there were some intensely hostile moments.


Personally, I am distressed and downright outraged that we have lost public lesbian space. Womonwrites community, as part of the larger lesbian nation, is now divided and the division comes in the form of whether we are willing to protect men who say they are women. Having attended WW for over 30 years, I am now marked and targeted as a hater, a bigot with a restrictive attitude. I’m told I belong to a group of old white cis women, the tofu-eating and Birkenstock wearing generation who refuses to evolve. My opinion doesn’t count and neither does anyone else who stands by me. I seem to be standing in the way of progress.

I refuse this description of me and I refuse to back down from my opinions. Pressure is strong from the trans community. Lesbians all over the country are looking for lesbian space with lesbians that were born with a vagina and have lived experience from birth as female.

The only lesbian space I now know of is this Gainesville Lesbians Reader’s Potluck group and the Lesbian Writer’s group that is meeting irregularly. I’m asking this group to confirm that this is a lesbian only group holding the definition that lesbians are born with vaginas, and that we not change that. Even if there are lesbians that align themselves with the trans community, I ask that they not lobby to change the nature of this particular group.

With all of the hatred flowing in this country at this time, I would like to have one safe spot as a lesbian, a woman born lesbian. There is a lot more to say, and I would like to propose that lesbians who feel strongly about this issue meet and form a study group or a book group or a support group, whatever feels appropriate. I would like all of us to engage each other in discussion and work out agreements that are acceptable and not trample on opinions or disrespect each other or name call.

I do not want to see the Gainesville Lesbian community divided. In these troubled times, it is more important than ever to maintain lesbian space and keep it safe.

By Woody Blue

SIS NOT CIS

I made a shirt with this on it and it invites easy conversation about the topic. Other shirts I’ve made:
Lesbian witches heal
Lesbianism is not a fetish
Female sovereignty
Misoprostol aborts unwanted pregnancies
Racism is the foundation for American economics
Change your body to fit into capitalism (with a slash over it)
She who is whole unto herself
Who would you be without patriarchy?
Stop sterilizing lesbian, gay, and autistic children
Transgender is gay eugenics
May the patriarchy fall for the good of all

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Identify this: The new Patriarchy: Trans “Women”.

Although it goes without saying, feel non critical thinkers (aka everybody out there complying) needs it spelled out…

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Woman Born Woman

I think this is one of those simple ones that gets forgotten. It says so much, nowadays. For me, it hearkens back to the fact than we all come from another woman. It also reminds me that even though I transitioned and am now detransitioning, I’m still a woman born woman.

I was tempted of course to write it as womyn born womyn, but i think, if this were to end up on buttons and shirts, it would perhaps be more effective if it doesnt immediately set off “””alarms.””” especially with just your average woman, i feel like it could spark a conversation about what it means to be born female. for “normies,” the womyn spelling makes them tune it out. That of course shouldn’t be our only focus for an effective slogan, but perhaps it’s my sympathy for the women trapped in genderworld that makes me want to make it easier to reach out to them.

(sorry for the long message! i hope you have a good day)

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Make feminism scary again

Stolen off the internet. I made it into a t-shirt.

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Lesbians for sex not gender

It’s playful and serious. Cuts thru a lot of the noise. It’s a good beginning point for a conversation.
Peace
Anne

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